Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hyderabad Blues

After many, many years today, I had the opportunity to listen to 'tere dar par sanam' from 'Phir teri kahani yaad aayi'. For those of you who either mentally or verbally said 'what?!' to the title of the movie, a quick recap: Rahul 'Aashiqui' Roy, clingy Pooja Bhatt, Mahesh Bhatt directing an autobiographical venture (boy! the man sure has lived many lives, given the number of so-called autobiographical ventures that he's come up with) detailing his supposed relationship with neurotic Parveen Babi.

Nice movie, different storyline (neurotic, clingy, obssessive lovers were a rarity then; this is before SRK hit the screen with KKKiran...) and amazing music. Anu Malik at his very, very best. Sublime, yet haunting. The lyrics I think, had a lot to do with the feel of the movie. Kaifi Azmi (if I'm not mistaken). I know I bought the tape several times over the years. One for home, one for the car, one for the hostel, one for my bro so that he didn't whack mine, several as gifts for friends and 'special' friends.

The story is about a tormented, angst-ridden film director (that's probably the only similarity the story had with MB's life) and a slightly crazed (literally: she escapes from an asylum), terminally ill (mentally) girl. What i loved about the narrative was the absolute lack of background. We are not burdened with the girl's past (except fleeting references to her burning down the asylum and killing about a 1000, I kid you not! people). We are not burdened with the hero's past (and his present also seems to be irrelevant to the narrative and is therefore restricted to an occasional scene of him venting his frustration at the meaningless-ness of being).

In one of the take-offs on alternative healing / therapy (or what you will), the director goes to an ashram (some reference to popular icons of the time rushing off to the Osho ashram for emotional succour) to find meaning and meets the 'crazy' gal and falls in love with her 'quirkiness' (not realising she's actually crazy).

They share some wonderful times till her paranoia makes living with her very difficult indeed and he's forced to break-up with her. And then unable to get over it, makes a movie about it which is acclaimed as the 'first meaningful movie in a long time'.

True to MB movies, this too is riddled with symbology waiting to be discovered by the curious viewer. And there is a healthy dose of irony too. And this is amply demonstrated in the songs. Listen to 'Aaanewala pal' and I guarantee, even if you haven't watched the movie, you will become pensive for just a moment!

Then there's 'Badalon mein chup raha hai chaand kyun' a lovely love song. Not completely mushy, not completely naughty: just a touching mix of the two. Just like the emotion of 'discovering you are in love'. There is an innocence there that will never come back till you fall in love again. So sad.

And finally ofcourse, the ballad - 'dil mein sanam ki soorat, aankhon mein aashiqui de...mere khuda mujhe tu, ik aur zindagi de. kaise karoon mohabbat, do din ki zindagi mein? mere khuda mujhe tu, ik aur zindagi de...'.

Classy, and yet heartwrenchingly poignant.

All in all, a wonderful, wonderful classic. The music, not the movie. Movie would've been great to watch in those days when the concept was refreshingly new and we weren't so cynical in our attitude to movie viewing and movie scripts.

The music however, is something you can pick up and discover, even today. It will find a resonance today and even tomorrow.

Why have I called this piece Hyderabad Blues? Because this is a strong part of my growing up years in Hyderabad. And like mirchi bhajjis, masala chai, bun-maska, Tank bund road, Secret takes me back in time and brings on a mood known as 'Hyderabad Blues'.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:19 AM  
Anonymous sanvesh said...

Very nice post. Enjoyed reading about the movie. Haven't seen it but your post inspired me to listen to the songs again after a long time.

Beautiful songs. you are right. Perhaps one of the best that Anu Malik has churned out. Though even Refugee was good. Wot say?

9:00 PM  
Anonymous sailesh said...

good post. am also from hyderabad. aren't you going to write about paradise?

11:01 PM  
Blogger the Monk said...

hey, nice post...i haven't sen the movie, but you've made me want to...

1:21 AM  
Blogger Anjali said...

Hmmm ... you do make it sound lovely. The movie AND the music. Haven't seen the movie but I've heard the music, and I agree totally :)

7:39 AM  
Anonymous tara said...

Thanks Sanvesh. I agree. Refugee was very good too. But lacks the variety that 'Phir teri kahaani yaad aayi' has.

Sailesh, Paradise will happen shortly...maybe next week since i will be in hyd then.

Monk (it sure feels sacrilegeous when i call you that), thanks for dropping by. Loved your post on exam tensions...brought back many memories. I don't know if you'll enjoy the movie but the tape is really good. If you are into Hindi music.

Anjali, thanks for dropping by. Fundoo post on MR.

10:11 AM  
Blogger manuscrypts said...

there was another pooja too in the movie, right?? the bedi kind?? and yup, that soundtrack rocks...

9:55 PM  
Anonymous tara said...

Manuscrypts: Yup, the sound track rocks! The movie in those days was also touted as the clash of the sexy Poojas. But it being an MB film Bedi gal remained a fixture in the background...the unseen well wisher of Rahul roy.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Stone said...

Nope not Kaifi Azmi, he wrote just one song of the movie.
Most of the songs u mentioned here were penned down by Qatil Shifai.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Stone: thanks for setting the record straight. Yes, it was Qatil Shifai. He's done the lyrics for a lot of the Bhatt productions.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Manish said...

Lovely, lovely post.

I managed to find the music on the net coz i couldn't find it in the music stores here.

Write some more about these hidden gems. I discovered hindi music very late (hazards of not growing up in India i guess) and want to make up for lost time.

By the way, am still waiting for that promised is several hours past the 'promised 5 minutes'.


8:50 PM  
Blogger yas said...

great review of the movie. I saw the movie when it was released and just thought about it a few days ago. Your description is an exact of the way I see the movie as... This movie reminds me of Frances Farmer and Sylvia Plath. You should see those movies ( frances and Sylvia).Its funny that allyour fav movies are my fav one stoo. Must be the common star sign.

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